The first step in getting started with bitcoin or Ether is by setting up a bitcoin or Ether wallet.
|A Safaricom shop in Nairobi|
A bitcoin wallet is a software that connects you to the bitcoin network thereby allowing you to buy and sell value.
There are different types of wallets;
- online wallets- details are held in a cloud. coinbase is one example of an online wallet.
- hardware wallets – details are held in a hardware device. Trezor is one good example of a hardware wallet.
- desktop wallets - detail are stored on your local computer,an example of this is the multibit.
- mobile phone wallets - Mycelium is one popular android cryptocurrency wallet.
- Paper wallets
For people leaving in Nairobi and would wish to start trading in bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies, I would recommend joining LocalBitcoins.com. This platform besides providing an online wallet is an exchange network that connects you to Kenyans trading in cryptocurrency. M- Pesa transactions are allowed on this network.
However, just as it is not wise to keep all your eggs in one basket, I would not recommend keeping all your currency on localBitcoin. I would suggest that you transfer bitcoins that you wish hold on for long to another platform for security purposes. There are several other options on the internet; blockchain.info works well for me.
One key thing to note about bitcoin wallets:
Once you sign up, there will be two Keys; the public address, and the bitcoin Private Key. The public address is a long string of alphanumeric characters that you share with the public in order for them to send to you bitcoins. The private bitcoin key as the name suggests is kind of password that connects you to the bitcoin network. You must not share your private Key.